m1nd-set: Asia Pacific to recover 84% of 2019 passengers by 2023

By Charlotte Turner |

Changi Airport recently told TRBusiness that they are approaching 50% of passenger capacity recorded in 2019.

Changi Airport recently told TRBusiness that it is fast approaching 50% of passenger capacity recorded in 2019.

Asia Pacific is set to recoup 84% of its 2019 passenger numbers by 2023, and 68% of pre-Covid traffic levels this year, according to Swiss travel research agency, m1nd-set, whilst a full air traffic recovery is not forecast before 2024.


The intelligence is derived from the company’s Business 1ntelligence Service (B1S) Traffic Platform, which draws on Direct Data Solutions (DDS) airline ticket data sourced in collaboration with the International Air Transport Association (IATA).


Based on updated metrics for full-year 2021, the region handled 126 million international departing passengers cumulatively over 2020 and 2021. In 2020, the figure was 93 million passengers.


Indeed, 2021 was a story of two halves. The stop-start patchwork of travel restrictions precipitated by divergent – and in many cases strict – border controls and health regimes across Asia Pacific’s countries resulted in stagnant international passenger growth, but the gradual unlock of travel in the second half of the year resulted in a spike in travel demand.


While the forecast increase in share of passengers this year to 68% (compared with 2019) is encouraging, it is worth remembering the devastation caused to the region’s passenger traffic in 2020.


As a result of the shutdown in global air transport due to Covid-19, travel volumes in AsPac plummeted by 82% from 522m in 2019.


Looking at the top 20 Asia Pacific airports in 2021, Delhi Indira Gandhi International took a 6.96% share of passenger traffic (2,319,260), followed by Seoul Incheon International at 5.77% (1,922,936) and Singapore Changi at 5.05% (1,683,502). At 14.8%, Dubai International (4,897,328) was the top final international destination.


This information first appeared in the TRBusiness May ezine.


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